blogfestI have a couple of good news to share.

First is about what is touted as a gathering of Asian bloggers, Blogfest.Asia ’09 set to be held on Nov. 5-8 in Hong Kong.

Among the speakers are fellow bloggers Blogie Robillo and Juned Sonido. They will share insights on “Peace Initiatives through Blogging” based on the experience of Mindanao bloggers as well as introduce the Philippine blogosphere to the participants.

I will also be a speaker on the topic “Bloggers and social media users in the aftermath of typhoons Ketsana and Parma”.

bad09rpToday’s Blog Action Day comes soon after the latest survey updated the nation on the horserace among the prospective candidates for president in next year’s elections.

As Filipino bloggers and the Philippine online communities (and those in many parts of the globe as well)  take on the issue of climate change, I wish to pose these questions to these same candidates and their political parties and coalitions:

logotxtpowerSoon after turning over to the Philippine National Red Cross the last check from  TXTPower’s fundraising campaign for typhoon Ondoy’s victims, I received a call from Mr. Mario Shiliashki, general manager of PayPal Southeast Asia & India.

Mr. Shiliashki told he was “reaching out on behalf of the company” to apologize for the incident and assured the company’s respect and support for the efforts of Filipinos and our friends abroad to provide relief aid to victims of the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. He said that what had happened would help improve Paypal’s processes and procedures.

Grabbed from the Philippine Blog Awards website
Grabbed from the Philippine Blog Awards website

Bloggers trooped Friday night to the PETA-Phinma Theater in Quezon City for the Philippine Blog Awards 2009 which carried the theme “One Blogging Nation”.

I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Benj Espina of, a fellow crew member at Bloggers Kapihan, as presentors for the last four award categories. Last year, both Benj and I won awards for best personal blog and best news and media blog categories.

Here is a list of this year’s winners I was able to take note of through my Twitter posts Friday night:

Bloggers read other blogs to be updated and just like ordinary blog readers, also to engage in discussions and to be entertained or enlightened.

We have grown to love some of the new blogs and I really wish they are recognized.  Good thing we have the writing project Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009 which makes giving credit to these noteworthy blogs a community effort.

Here are my top 10 picks for 2009:

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is said to be preparing to use her state of the nation address tomorrow to raise anew the call for charter change.

It is thus a good thing that bloggers and Facebook users took on this issue with Cyberprotests and a Blog Action Day.

If Arroyo would indeed announce a renewed effort to ram down our throats this idea of a Constituent Assembly (ConAss) to keep her illegal hold on the presidency and to enshrine the failed policies of neoliberal globalization in the charter, then we have a great battle ahead of us and let’s not surrender an inch of our places in cyberspace to the regime’s lies.

On July 26, the eve of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s state of the nation address, bloggers and members of Facebook group Pilipinas Kontra Con-Ass will stage a Cyberprotest and Blog Action Day.

Through various means, we wish to say a principled and committed NO to all the naked attempts to deceive the people about the alleged need to change the Constitution. But whatever they say and however they lie, it is clear to most bloggers and netizens that the evil regime led by Mrs. Arroyo herself are scared of leaving office. They are scared to death that come June 30, 2010, when her questionable term of office supposedly ends, she will face a whole slew of cases to make her liable for all her criminal liabilities against the nation.

Another group has come forward to recognize the role of bloggers in raising public awareness on important issues.

Bloggers are now welcome to join the 5th PopDev Media Awards, a project of Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD).

This is open to all Filipino bloggers who have blogged about any of the following issues: issues such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), public health (especially reproductive health), reproductive health policy and governance, economic growth and poverty, climate change, housing and urban development, sustainable development, environment, education, gender, maternal health, adolescent reproductive health, family planning, food security, reproductive rights, migration, and population ageing.

The topics are as broad as they can be and this is good news to bloggers.

For more information, please refer to the PLCPD’s press release below:

It is taken for granted or regarded lightly, but the relative freedom we enjoy in expressing ourselves through is heaven compared to the hell experienced by bloggers in other countries.

In naming the “worst online oppressors”, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) notes that “booming online cultures in many Asian and Middle Eastern nations have led to aggressive government repression”.

What do the Alabang, Paranaque and Quezon City incidents, the Kuratong Baleleng rubout, the suspicious slays of crusading journalists and the murders of nearly a thousand activists have in common?

They are all arguably extrajudicial or extralegal killings — deliberate murders of individuals by elements or agents of the state, with approval or sanction by superiors, without due process or outside of the law, and most of them are politically-motivated

As the world searches for solutions to the global economic crisis, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison publishes his views on politics and the economy, on democracy and socialism and on the problem that is imperialist globalization. This is another step forward for Prof. Sison and the national democratic movement as they offer help to the country and the world towards understanding and addressing our situation.

Invitation to the launch of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison’s new books 

The Computer Professionals Union is calling on technology experts who wish to lend their skills and talent towards the deployment of a simple monitoring application for an NGO whose expertise is disaster response.

According to the CPU, the monitoring app will serve as “a grassroots monitoring tool for natural and man-made disasters in the country. We hope to create an alternative data source based on community reports of affected areas”.